1. 1875: Billy the Kid was arrested for the first time
Records indicate that Billy the Kid was arrested for the first time on this date in 1875 for stealing a bag of laundry in Silver City, New Mexico. As it turns out, Billy wasn’t the one that had stolen the bag, it was actually an old acquaintance of his that had given it to him to hide. According to reports, right as Billy got the bag, a police officer arrived and caught him red-handed. Prior to that, he had been a hard-working, honest young man that had even received praise from the owner of the hotel where Billy worked for his room and board. It was in that jail cell where he was kept for two days even though it was such a petty crime, that pushed him to the wrong side of the law. He apparently developed a terrible fear of confinement which is ironic because in order to escape that jail cell he had to squeeze himself up a chimney. From that point on, he would start to develop the reputation of the murderous outlaw still talked about today.
2. 1846: German astronomer discovers the planet Neptune
Although most records indicate that German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle was the man that discovered the planet Neptune on this date in 1846, he actually couldn’t have done it if it weren’t for the French mathematician Urbain-Jean-Joseph Le Verrier. It was Le Verrier that used his math skills to predict the potential existence of the planet. He specialized in celestial mechanics, so by studying gravity induced disturbances in the motions of Uranus, he was able to determine the approximate location as well. Le Verrier then gave that information to Galle and on that very night is when Galle first located the planet. After monitoring its movement relative to the stars for a 24 hour period, he was able to determine it was indeed a planet.
3. 1949: President Truman told the American public about Soviet nuclear testing.
It was on this date in 1949 that President Truman stood before the American people and nonchalantly informed them that they had evidence that the Soviet Union had detonated a nuclear weapon. The actual test had taken place almost a month prior, which came as a major shock to the U.S. government. The U.S. thought they had monopolized the nuclear technology and therefore was expecting the Soviets to have those capabilities for many years to come. They later came to find out that the Soviets managed to capture German scientists after World War II , just like the Americans had, which allowed them to fast-track their nuclear programs. This caused a panic within the U.S. government and forced them to drastically increase spending within their own nuclear programs. It was believed that a lot of that extra spending when towards the development of the next stage of nuclear bombs, the dreaded H-bomb, otherwise known as the Hydrogen Bomb.